Friday, March 16, 2012

Giving Some Up and Getting Some Back..

  • Jeff Globe of the Globe and Mail says the Jays are looking for a cost effective inning eater instead of an expensive top line pitcher. This explains why the Jays have been in contact with the Cubs about Wells and not Garza recently (which we reported Wednesday from our source).

  • It seems like Travis Wood is pitching himself to Iowa while Volstad and Shark are prepping for the rotation.

  • Lendy Castillo is not pitching well enough to keep on the 25 man roster which means he maybe offered back to the Phillies.

  • Ryan Flaherty is doing well this spring hitting .300 with a .364 OBP with a homer and 5 RBI in 20 Abs. The O’s obtained him in the Rule 5 draft and must keep him on their 25 man roster all year to keep him from going back to the Cubs. So why is he likely to be offered back to the Cubs??? Well, right now the roster looks pretty stacked at the positions he plays. They have Chris Davis, Wilson Betemit, Nick Johnson, and Mark Reynolds at the 1st/3rd. They also have JJ Hardy, Robert Andino, Brian Roberts and Ryan Adams for their middle infields. All 8 players are currently on the 25 man roster. Not to mention he is competing against some utility veterans on a Buck Showalter team (who favors Vets). To me it looks likely that Flaherty will be on his way back to the Cubs which would look like another good move made for the Theo and Company.

  • Sveum has a meeting with Marmol.

  • Sveum has been really aggressive on the base paths which is a welcome change.

  • The Cubs made some surprising roster cuts yesterday sending Josh Vitters, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur, Jeff Believeau, John Gaub, Alberto Cabrera, and Jason Jaramillo to minor league camp. The surprise is Believeau and Jaramillo because right now it says either Castillo or Clevenger will get the backup job while the Cubs favor the other lefties to Believeau which is curious because he has been pitcher pretty well.

  • Sveum says only Wood and Marmol are locks in the pen but has nice things to say about Mateo and Dolis.

  • The Cubs sent pitching prospect Aaron Kurcz to Boston to complete their end of the Theo acquisition. The Cubs still get their PTBNL. Not a great piece to Boston but a solid one. More than I thought the PTBNL would be.

  • The Cubs and Padres are likely to complete their compensation by the end of the month.

  • According to sources the Cubs are pushing to trade Soriano before Opening Day giving Brett Jackson’s recent success.

  • The Cubs would trade Byrd but like everything he brings on the field and off. Theo and Jed want the Opening Day outfield to be Jackson LF, Byrd CF, and DeJesus RF.

  • The Cubs have also take phone calls on Randy Wells. Two teams with rumored interest are the Jays and the Astros.

  • Until Next Time…

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    You Want Cubs Talk... Here is a WHOLE lot of it!

  • ESPN Chicago has the notes from the Cubs come from behind win found here and yesterday’s game found here.

  • Maholm felt really good after his first outing.

  • The Cubs removed Casey Weathers and Esmailin Caridad off the 40 man roster and sent them to minor league camp.

  • Is anyone else baffled the Blue Jays have not been linked to Garza lately considering they are looking for a starting pitcher?

  • Brett Jackson is looking great this spring but barring a trade or injury he will not be in Chicago on Opening Day.

  • I recently talked to a professional baseball scout and he believes that Rizzo, Lake, Vitters, and Jackson will make their Wrigley Field debut this season before September call ups. Rizzo and Jackson are pretty likely but I find Vitters and Lake making the club before call ups very interesting.

  • Bleacher Nation shows us how bad the Chicago Cubs drafting has been the past decade. NOT PRETTY!

  • Dale really like Mather’s versatility and it sounds like he is the favorite to make the team right now.

  • Kevin Goldstein says the Cubs are the “overwhelming favorite” to sign Jorge Soler which is music to my ears. He also says if they do sign him their farm system ranking will go up from the current 20th best to middle of the pack.

  • Cubs Den has a good run down of the Cubs offensive strategy and how Dave McKay is impacting the team in a positive way.

  • Jed Hoyer declines to comment on the Cubs talk of a contract extension with Matt Garza.

  • The Cubs and Red Sox will announce their PTBNL by the end of the month according to Peter Gammons.

  • Sveum is committed to Bryan LaHair despite his awful spring so far.

  • Sveum is also not worried about Marmol because Arizona is really affecting his pitches.

  • Bleacher Report is offering up 10 questions about the Cubs.

  • Going with the Theo/Jed mold the Cubs have interest in 28 year old reliever David Pauley according to my sources. Pauley was recently released by the Tigers after a 0-2 record and a 5.95 ERA. Before he was traded to Detroit he posted a 2.15 ERA and a 5-4 record with Seattle. Pauley is clearly a better option for the bullpen than Lopez in my opinion.

  • According to sources the Cubs have had scouts at 3 of the last 4 Angel games and Angel’s scouts have also been scouting the Cubs. Could a possible trade be in the mix? Matt Garza?

  • ESPN Chicago has a little article on Bosio making his mark on the Cubs’ staff.

  • The Chicago Sun Times runs down the good problem the Cubs have 5 pitchers for two starting spots.

  • Here is a nice story about some Cubs fans on a cross-country trek to break the curse and fight cancer found here.

  • Hey baseball and video game fans. Do yourself a favor and go get MLB 12 The Show! They have improved the game by leaps and bounds this year so pick it up! It is worth the $60!

  • Some people have recently questioned my “love” for Castro. Lets put it in perspective a little bit. There is not one player in the ML that I would trade Castro for straight across. Not Pujols… Not Sabathia… Not Reyes… NO ONE!

  • Now the latest from Levine
    · Bruce feels every player on the roster is eligible to be traded in July except Dempster and Soriano because of their NTC. The Cubs are in rebuilding mode so everyone is available according to Levine. I just do not agree… I think Castro, Rizzo, and some others are untouchable.
    · He feels Junior Lake’s time is not now and I agree. I think it is this summer.
    · Bruce sees the Shark as having a leg up on one of the starting jobs and I agree. He has done nothing but impress but so has Volstad. A friend and I both agree if the season started today the rotation would be Garza, Dempster, Maholm, Samardzija, and Volstad.
    · He says forget high priced pitchers like Hamels, Cain, or Greinke next season. Their price tag will be too high and the Cubs will still be a couple years away from being in that position.
    · Levine echoing what I have been saying… That a lot of teams are interested in Byrd and the only way Jackson starts in Chicago is if Byrd is traded.
    · Levine is very pessimistic about Hayden Simpson future with the Cubs because of illnesses and injuries.
    · Following the negative roll Levine is on he thinks the Cubs are not a power team or small ball team. He thinks they will struggle to score runs.
    · Bruce thinks Soler won’t establish residency by July. I 100% disagree with that… Whether he signs by then is in question.
    · Levine thinks Mather makes the team while Campana is sent to AAA because he has options left.
    · He sees a Class A player going to Boston to complete the Theo transaction.
    · Levine thinks Jae-Hoon Ha could end up in Iowa this year.
    · He sees DeJesus having a good comeback season.
    Until Next Time..

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Cubs Notes: Concepcion, Garza, Bosio, Byrd, and Soler

  • The Chicago Cubs finally officially signed Gerardo Concepcion to a 5 year deal worth $6M. Half of that amount is actually the signing bonus and the other half will be spread across the 5 years. But please do not look at this deal as if he is leaving at the young age of 25. Since this is a traditional deal the Cubs will not only have Concepcion for 5 years but then have him for 6 ML years. MLB rules stat that each ML team gets 6 years of Major League control once a player has been on the 25 man roster for a certain amount of days. So his ML clock does not start ticking until he is in Chicago. So basically the Cubs could have Concepcion for 11 years if he does not make it to the Bigs until he is 25. More than likely you will see him make his Chicago debut in about 3 years. The Cubs have added Concepcion to the 40 man roster.

  • Cubs Den has a great run down of yesterday’s game.

  • Don’t worry about Garza’s weak spring so far because he is not.

  • Chris Bosio is my kind of Pitching Coach… FEARLESS

  • The Nationals and Indians are still interested in Marlon Byrd according to sources. Both teams have had interest in Byrd in the past; in fact the Nationals and Cubs have discussed a possible Lannan for Byrd swap but the Nationals wanted a top 15 prospect in the deal as well which killed talks.

  • The Chicago Cubs and Starlin Castro are really working hard on his defense this spring.

  • The Chicago Cubs are still in talks about developing their own network and according to some rumors swirling the new network could come around before the WGN and Comcast contracts are up.

  • BleacherNation has Jed Hoyer on Concepcion.

  • Who does not want more Jorge Soler rumors??? Many teams and writers think he will end up with the Cubs including Alex Speier. This is what he had to say-

  • According to a major league source, the Red Sox do plan to pursue Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, a 20-year-old who is awaiting approval by Major League Baseball to become an international amateur free agent. Though still considered very raw, Soler has tremendous power, with the potential to hit 30-plus homers a season in the majors if he proves capable of fulfilling his potential.
    That said, the Sox – like most of the baseball industry – expect that the Cubs are likely to win the bidding for Soler.
    Until Next Time..

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Some Chin Music and Trade Talk....

    • You can find the run down of yesterdays game at  Hey Rammy how was that chin music???
    • The Cubs made their 2nd round of cuts yesterday with Micah Gibbs and Dae-Eun Rhee.  The roster stands out 57.
    • Sveum said Soriano will not lead off this season and DeJesus will be the primary leadoff guy with Soriano hitting in the middle of the order.
    • Sveum said he was disappointed to be passed over for the Brewers managerial job.
    • Phil Rogers is adding more to the Jorge Soler to the Cubs stuff you can find here.
    • The Yankees are a little worried about Pineda so insert the Garza rumors.  A source told me that the Yankees will not hesistate in trading for another front line starter like Matt Garza if Pineda struggles in New York.  He goes on to say they are prepared to trade their entire farm to win the World Series this year.
    • Check out Cubbies Crib for their roster profiles found here.

    A couple of side notes for the site. 

    • I have removed the comment moderation of the site so we can have easier conversations.  I encourage everyone to sign in and create a user name if you have not already.
    • I have tweaked my site for all our smart phone users.  It is now formatted for easier viewing on your smart phone.  I am still working on developing an app.
    Until Next Time...